The Martin and Co popular Series offers us three slightly different models LX1, LX1R, and LXK2. And in this Little Martin LX1 review, I will tell you about one of them. Its distinctive feature is its small size and fairly reasonable price, especially considering the high-quality materials from which the guitar is made. Because of its size, many people call it “travel”, “baby”, “female”, “for beginners”, or “for people of small stature”, and all these statements are true, but do not state its belonging to one or another side. It is versatile and can suit anyone who appreciates compactness and builds quality. Anyway, enough about that. Let’s take a closer look at it.
Little Martin gets its name from the ¾ size of a standard Dreadnought guitar. Or, as the manufacturer positioned it, it is the Modified 0-14 Fret size. But, as you can guess from its price ranking, its materials were chosen very decent. For example, the top is solid Spruce with Hand-Rubbed Finish, and the sides and back are Mahogany Pattern HPL. And characteristically, these are moisture-resistant materials that also make the LX1 comfortable for travel.
All in all, the guitar looks very nice, attractive, and stylish in its light color. Of the decor, there is a Multi-Stripe rosette, but there is no Pickguard in this model. They have modifications for the Right and the Left hands.
Of course, the Little Martin LX1 won’t give you the projection of a full-size guitar, but it sounds amazing. The structural stability provides a Non-Scalloped X-Brace System. That way, the top-end vibrations are perfectly controlled, and you get the full effect when you play.
Neck, fingerboard, headstock
Let’s talk about the neck. First, it is Modified Low Oval, made of Stratabond, a rusted birch wood similar to Mahogany in its resonance properties. The scale is 23” long, has a total of 20 frets, and at the 14th one, it is attached to the body by the Mortise & Tenon Neck Joint. I found it very comfortable for hands, really suitable for small hands, including children and women. Fingerboard Width at Nut is 1 11/16”. Distinctive are the fret markings, which have been moved to the top edge. You’ll have to get used to it if you’ve already played a regular guitar with standard markings.
Second, the manufacturer used the Richlite material for the fingerboard on this model. It lowered the price and also made a loud statement about attention to the environment. I can’t say anything about this material in the sense of how it behaves over time, but during testing, I didn’t notice any particular merits or demerits.
The Headstock with the great original label is also made of HPL, but the chrome steel picks pleased me immensely because this guitar level is very good hardware. In addition, it was excellent in the tuning, showing itself soft while holding the tuning perfectly.
I have already mentioned how the Little Martin LX1 sounds. Yes, not loud and spacious enough, but balanced, nuanced, and very clean. After trying it out, perhaps I join in its high praise by musicians. There is a reason why it is so popular, even among professionals. I imagine its soft sound somewhere by the fire or on the house’s lawn during a barbecue party.
I think it’s worth having if you travel a lot and like to carry your instrument around because it’s lightweight (8 pounds) and will fit on any shelf. The LX1 doesn’t have a notch, but I could easily reach the high frets, so I was very pleased with its comfort level. And I can also position it as a beginner’s instrument. Considering its price – my high praise!
- Scale, in/cm: 23/58.4.
- Frets: 14.
- Fretboard radius, in/cm: 16/40.6.
- Type: acoustic.
- Body material: mahogany.
- Neck material: spruce.
- Neck joint: glued-in.